Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Enigmatic Dual Forms of Virginia Snakeroot (Endodeca serpentaria)

Virginia Snakeroot – Endodeca serpentaria –  is a common , low growing, native perennial that can be found in a variety of forest habitats in North Carolina.  It is a member of the Birthwort family (Aristolochiaceae) , a family primarily … Continue reading

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Spring Flowers of the Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)

The Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) is a native tree known for its formidable thorns and its long, twisting pods.  The pods contain seeds that are surrounded by a sweet, honey-colored pulp.  The thorns and pods are shown below. The Honey Locust … Continue reading

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Eastern Gray Squirrels and the Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra)

Early blooming trees like Elms and Maples produce a bonanza of high energy seeds, greatly coveted by Eastern Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis).  Their frenetic activity high in the trees is a common sight in early spring.  In some areas, they appear … Continue reading

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The Developmental Stages of the Smooth Coneflower – Echinacea laevigata

Echinacea laevigata – the Smooth Coneflower – is among the rarest plants in North America.  It is not mentioned in the B. W. Wells classic The Natural Gardens of North Carolina.  More significantly, the historic habitat of the Smooth Coneflower … Continue reading

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Winter Tree I.D. : A Few Easy Examples

Winter identification of trees usually includes examining the bark, twigs and buds, and sometimes the general form of the tree in question.  Branching patterns are seldom used for identification, and are often either non-specific or common to a number of different trees.  The … Continue reading

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Searching for the Elusive “Slippery” Elm – Ulmus rubra

Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) is a common native tree in North Carolina, with most populations found in the Piedmont and Mountain regions.  Surprisingly, Slippery Elms do not appear on the plant lists from many of our major state parks.  This includes the Jordan … Continue reading

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Fall Leaf Patterns: Swamp Chestnut Oak, Shumard Oak, and Scarlet Oak

Fall is a delightful and convenient time to study tree leaves.  What was once 80 feet overhead and practically invisible, is now directly underfoot and at hand.  The Neuse River Trail, running beside the Neuse River south of the Falls Lake … Continue reading

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